Advanced Search

Indian by Firelight

Indian by Firelight

Department: Art
Medium: oil on canvas
Dimensions:
12 x 10 in. (30.5 x 25.4 cm)
Classification: Painting
Credit Line: The Albuquerque Museum Foundation, Estate of Harrison Brehmer, Jr.
Object number: IL1997.16.5
Descriptionportrait of Native American sitting on a bench resting his chin on his hand
On view
Label Text:Indian by Firelight is a quintessential Joseph Henry Sharp painting. Deploying his mastery of atmospheric effects and the full array of his French academic training, Sharp creates the illusion of warm, honey-like firelight flooding an adobe room and generates a palpable mood of ceremonial intimacy. Depictions of individual Native American subjects in idealized pre-Modern dress were an especially popular subject for many of the early Taos artists. Sharp painted many such images – few finer than this example.

Joseph Henry Sharp was fascinated by Native Americans from his earliest years growing up in Ohio. Deaf from a childhood accident, he studied art at the Cincinnati Academy of Art and later in Europe. Successful both commercially and critically, over his long life Sharp is estimated to have produced over 10,000 works.